During our last teacher training module, I learned the secret to make everything all better. It seems only right to pass it on.
We had Shanti Webb come on Saturday morning to teach us her wonderfully restorative chai recipe. It starts with the idea that making chai is a way of creating an inner environment where meditation happens with ease. The combination of intention, process and ingredients leads to a calm mind.
One perspective is to think of chai as medicine. Personally, that’s not the relationship I want with my tea (at least not yet). I love that Shanti has taught me the healing power of chai; I just prefer thinking of it as a cup of happy than as a cup of medicine.
Let’s start by saying there are many, many recipes for chai—my own is quite different. And the proportions will vary from person to person and even from day to day for the same individual. So don’t worry about getting perfect measurements. Just know you’re making a chai designed to help reign in your monkey brain. More on that just after the recipe.
1. Bring to a boil:
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2″ – 1″ of freshly ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of black tea leaves
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 8-16 freshly ground cardamom pods
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 cup whole cow’s milk
4. Bring to a boil 3 times (boil, remove from heat for a few seconds, boil again, remove again, boil again, turn off).
5. Strain and serve.
Here is a partial list of mental (happy-inducing) benefits. I’ll let you research the physical ones on your own:
- Ginger root – Supports clarity and discernment
- Cardamom – Reduces agitation, calms the mind, aids depression
- Saffron – Reduces anger, fright and shock; increases capacity for compassion; aids depression
- Whole cow’s milk – Aids depression and uplifts mood
- Black tea – Supports mental clarity, increases concentration and reduces stress levels
- Sugar – Carries nutrients to cells; when combined with milk, enhances the absorption of specific herbs and nutrients to an even greater degree.
Oh, and I have some great background music for you while you’re preparing your awesome chai! Shanti… sings.